It’s the first split squad games of Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs (i.e., about half the roster takes on one team, while half takes on another), as the Cubs take on the Diamondbacks in Mesa and the Rockies in Scottsdale.

The game against the Diamondbacks is at 3:05 CT, and the game against the Rockies is at 3:10 CT. The audio for each will be available via Ryan Dempster gets the start in the former game, while Rodrigo Lopez tries to stay perfect in the latter.

We’ve got a Game Thread going at the Message Board for both games, here.

The lineups feature essentially all of the regulars, with some of the vets even deigning to travel to Scottsdale.

Against the Diamondbacks:

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Marlon Byrd, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Josh Vitters, 3B

9. Ryan Dempster, P

Against the Rockies (if you want proof that Joe Mather is very much in consideration for a bench job, note that he’s playing center field while Brett Jackson is paying left field – fair bet that Dale Sveum wants to see more of what Mather looks like in center field):

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Blake DeWitt, 2B

3. Ian Stewart, 3B

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Joe Mather, CF

6. Brett Jackson, LF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Junior Lake, SS

9. Rodrigo Lopez, P

  • TWC

    Is there any info on who is broadcasting which game?

    • Brett

      I did not see any on a quick sweep of available info. One of them – presumably the game in Mesa – will likely be Len and Mick.

      • TWC

        So the ‘veterans’ Hughes and Zonk have to travel?  Weak.

  • SirCub

    Shouldn’t we do two game day threads, and have a split BN squad posting to them?

    • TWC


      If we do this like we did on the playground, who gets picked last?

      • SirCub

        Katie, duh. Nobody wants a girl on their team!

        • hardtop

          um … no wants wants a hippie on their team. twc is last… it has nothing to do with your comments dude, its the smell of patchouli

          • TWC

            Patchouli is über-gross, fwiw.

            • hardtop

              i kid, i kid…
              i would definitely take you in my top three in a comments contest, no matter how dirty you are 😉
              i have to lean how to do the umlaut

              • TWC

                Draw.  Two.  Dots.

                Come ON!

    • Brett

      Haha. Not sure we’d have a deep enough bench.

  • BD

    It sure seems like the lineups are split LH hitters and RH hitters. Is there a lefty pitcher going for the D’backs?

    • Brett

      Ian Kennedy, I believe.

  • Andrew

    Hey Brett, you just posted that Lake and Vitters were cut from the roster, how does it work that they are playing in todays games?

    • Kyle

      Short answer is that you don’t have to be on the MLB roster to play in the MLB spring training games.

      • Brett


    • djriz

      Ironically, with all the split squad games coming up, they all could get more playing time than they did when they were in big league camp.

      It is quite common for players from the minor league camp to be called ‘over’ for big league games. A lot of time to be positional filler or provide a regular a day off.

      • Luke

        Exactly.  I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these guys for the spring quite yet.

  • Bart

    Interesting observation about Mather in CF, Brett. Which reminds me, a bullet from a couple days ago suggested multiple teams may presently have interest in Byrd. Any meat to that bone? Couldn’t find much online. I’m sure you’re gathering info….just curious.

    • Brett

      Nothing to report, and I wouldn’t expect much – Cubs would prefer to keep CF occupied until midseason anyway.

  • Andy

    Kurcz is the 2nd prospect to go for Theo…dont know much about him other than hes young?

    • Kyle

      Live arm, relief prospect, I think he was at Daytona last year.

      It’s not inconceivable that he could break out into being a legit major-league reliever, but he’s nothing all that special either.

    • Luke

      Baseball America has him as the Cubs 8th or 9th best right handed relief prospect.  I think he’s got a good shot to emerge as a set up man, possibly a closer, but the Cubs are deep in pitchers very similar to him.